In August, we were all told by the leadership of the General Assembly that $1.1 billion in tax increases were necessary in order to stave off massive, destructive cuts to “critical” state services.
Apparently we were lied to.
According to the Gov. Perdue’s budget director, the state has about $600 million socked away for a potential budget shortfall this year.
Perusse’s office estimates it will have $469 million from unused funds and holdbacks of up to 5 percent from state agencies ordered by Gov. Beverly Perdue to ensure there’s money to pay bills. There’s another $150 million in the rainy-day reserve fund.
So a little over half of the tax increase wasn’t even necessary! Apparently there was an extra 5% padded into the budget that Perdue could “holdback.” So why wasn’t that money just cut in the budget, making $469 million in tax increases unneeded?
Because raising taxes wasn’t about balancing the budget — it was about finding the manna needed to continue the General Assembly’s appetite for increased spending.
There’s that, and there’s also the argument that they raised taxes more than needed this year (2009) so they could avoid tax increases in an election year next year. Nah, the General Assembly wouldn’t place it’s own political survival over the best interests of the people of North Carolina now would they?